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Service, Citizenship and Social Justice

*** Applications for 2019 are now closed. ***

Students who are interested in taking part in addressing the needs of marginalized communities, as well as engaging critically with the concepts of citizenship and social justice are invited to join the GC2 short course! 

GC2: Service, Citizenship and Social Justice consists of two parts: a community service component (10 hours) and a learning component where you will discuss and reflect on this experience with other students. Your learning will take place in both face-to-face group sessions, in the Vula online environment, and out in the field, involved with the community of your choosing.

The face-to-face and online learning will enable you to engage with fellow students committed to and interested in playing a citizenship role through voluntary community service.

If you fully complete the course it will appear on your transcript as a short course (non credit-bearing).

To get the course recognised on your UCT transcript, you will need to:

  • Attend 80% of class activities
  • Do the 10 hours of service
  • Complete the required online activities (4 short blogs)
  • Submit a final reflective essay

Course Structure

  • 8 x 2-hour class sessions on campus (one per week).
  • Classes run from 5pm-7pm on Tuesday evenings.
  • You are required to do online work on Vula outside of class sessions.
  • You are required to do 10 hours of self-organised community service (either through on-campus organisations e.g. SHAWCO, Ubunye, Golden Futures, or an off-campus organisation of your choosing).

Weekly Topics

  • Self and Service: Why do I volunteer? What motivates me? What is ‘experiential learning’ and how can this tool help me in my learning?
  • Power and Privilege: What is our effect when entering a community? Who benefits from 'community service'? Are we cognizant of power dynamics when considering and enacting charity or community engagement?
  • Community in Context: Do impoverished, marginalized communities have agency? How does that agency manifest itself? Is it addressed and valued in our service?
  • Social Justice and Citizenship: What does social justice mean to you? Can service work achieve social justice? What does it mean to be an active citizen? Should all citizens be concerned with social justice?
  • Paradigms of Service: Is there a difference between charity and service? Can service ever be destructive? Is it better to work for a project that has wide social reach but little personal impact, or that has limited social reach but powerful personal impact?
  • Development: What is your definition of 'progress'? What does 'development' look like? What are we developing towards? Whose idea of a 'developed country' are we adopting?
  • Structures and Strategies: What different approaches do organisations have to service? Do communities benefit from organisations' involvement?
  • Sustaining Insights: What have I learnt about myself, about service, about being a citizen? And how might I take these forward into new service experiences?

Time Commitment 

  • Time spent on course per week:
    • 2 hour class
    • 1-2 hours online learning tasks (blogs, prep work, readings)

An additional 10 hours, in total, of community work.

Note: GC2 is FREE to all UCT students. It is not credit-bearing, but if you fully complete the course it will appear on your transcript as a short course.